Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 (2017) Review

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The 2017 refresh of the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 is exactly the same on the outside as the 2016 model, however, under the hood, there are some upgrades. This is unit has the top spec you can buy, finally a fanless model with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD (SATA3) and an Intel Core i5-7Y54, this is still a 4.5W TDP CPU like the 7Y30 version however it can turbo up to a high 3.2Ghz. This is even higher than the Core i5 7200Y 13.3″ version which tops out at 3.1Ghz. And as a result, the tablet feels much quicker than the 2.6Ghz Core M3-7Y30, and for short bursts, the i5-7Y54 can complete tasks as fast as the 7200U, but for extended periods due to TDP constraints and the lack of a CPU cooler, it doesn’t take long before the CPU clocks itself down.

While the laptop does have a 256GB of SSD storage it’s not a NVMe Samusing PM961 drive sadly, it’s only SATA3 spec. But there is a spare NVMe 2280 slot if you wish to add a NVMe drive and really speed things up.

Overall this is a great laptop, but the price is the real con here, while it’s faster than the 7Y30 version and the battery last longer than last years Core M3-6Y30 the price tag makes it hard to recommend when for only a $100 or so more you can grab the 2016 Mi Notebook Air 13 with a dedicated GPU and fast Samsung PM961 NVMe SSD. Below is the detail video review and further down the pros and cons with the rating.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 Core i5-7Y54 Timecodes:

01:46 – Design
05:03 – Screen
07:10 – Windows & benchmarks
10:25 – 4k video encoding
12:21 – 4k streaming / performance
12:59 – Battery & charge times
14:05 – Audio Speaker test and 3.5mm
15:26 – Low light webcam sample
16:02 – Gaming (GTA V, CSGO, LOL)
17:38 – Thermals in and out
18:40 – Secure boot & Linux
19:03 – Final words
20:22 – Pros & Cons

Reviewed System Specs:

12.5″ 1080p IPS
Core i5-7Y54 (3.2Ghz)
Intel HD Graphics 615
8GB DDR3 1866Mhz
Dual Channel RAM
256GB ATA3 SSD
2280 NVMe SSD Slot
Intel Wireless AC 8260
Synaptics touchpad
37Wh battery 7 hours+
USB 3.0,
USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2
HDMI, 3.5mm audio out

Good

  • Premium build
  • Very light & Thin
  • Great keyboard & touchpad
  • USB 3.1 Type-C Gen2
  • Fast fanless Core i5-7Y54
  • 8GB Dual channel RAM
  • Improved Battery life
  • Spare NVMe slot (2280)
  • Very quick to charge
  • Backlit keyboard
  • AKG tuned speakers

Bad

  • Expensive
  • Only a RAM & CPU refresh
  • Windows 10 Chinese
  • Speakers distort at 100%
8.3

Great

Performance - 9
Design & Build - 8.5
Screen - 8.5
Sound - 8
Battery Life - 7.5

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